Answering the most asked question.
I personally and professionally believe that when if comes to manual therapy, injury treatment...."No pain, No Gain" is complete BS.
I do not agree with the idea of bringing pain into the body while you are trying the do the exact opposite : Bring the pain out of the body.
I often tell patients that they are in charge during their of how much pressure is applied on them. If it is too much, tell me, and i will back out.
I also try to explain as much as possible and in depth what I am trying to achieve with any techniques I use during a treatment. It will help the person on the treatment table to have a better grasp of what I am trying to achieve, and it re-affirms my ultimate goal is to increase their comfort level (after the treatment) to help getting rid of the pain and to re-introduce proper motion to the injured area and to the whole body.
"Pain is not OK, discomfort is fine"
In order to make changes in the body, create some changes, sustainable changes hopefully, in the body, discomfort can be experienced.
The discomfort is a manifestation of change happening in the body.
If i try to work on your chest with my hands (in order to help with breathing for example) it might feel sore because I am rubbing layers of tissue onto one another, breaking, stretching fascia and muscles. But if i go pass the pain barrier of the patients, he will tense up, fight me, try to push me away, which will create even more tension in the area i was trying to treat.
In conclusion, does sports massage hurts ?
In my opinion, it should not hurt, but you will experience sensation which might be dis-comfortable, but that sensation is necessary to obtain positive changes in the body.